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Henry Wiencek Education. (2012) 'Master of the Mountain Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves.'

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Monticello 18, Washington 8, Louisiana 8, France 8, United States 6, Mr. Jefferson 6, Virginia 6, America 4, Philadelphia 4, Randolph 4, Kentucky 3, Us 3, Thomas Jefferson 3, Isaac 3, Smith 2, Thomas Kane 2, Europe 2, Paris 2, Negros 2, Kosciuszko 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Henry Wiencek  Education.  (2012) 'Master of  
   the Mountain Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves.'  

    November 23, 2012
    12:45 - 2:00pm EST  

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scott decision the united states supreme court confirmed the southern constitutional view. republicans in contrast had never, no matter the supreme court, republicans would allow no more slaves in any territory. lincoln was elected in november of 1860, a month later united states congress came in to session. members of congress put forth various comprised portion. a critical portion of all in some dealt with the decision of the territory. most often there was a proposal to extend some kind of dividing line west ward beyond the louisiana purchase all the way to the border of california. now after this rather less than
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lengthy preface. why lincoln rejected all meaningful comprise which meant the territories. but there must be one thing more. i'm going talk about three different men tonight. one of you, one of them all of you know know his name abraham lincoln what he was and what he did. the other two not so well known. probably a number of you are familiar with henry clay. the great kentucky statesman. probably few know of william henry in 1860 was a senator from new york state and prior to lincoln's nomination for the presidency, was by far the most notable and well known republican in the country. finally, here i am. ready to start. you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. from the jefferson library in
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char latesville -- relationship to slavery. he reports that -- ownership and labor of the slaifts but america's third president called silent professionals. and jeffrey jefferson's papers in the research. it's just over an hour. our guest speaker this afternoon is henry weincek he will be talking about his book. it's the subject which the thomas jefferson foundation has been a pioneer in researching and presenting largely to the work of senator stanton who collected essays were published earlier this year by the university of virginia press.
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they're entitled those labor to -- [inaudible] slavery the thomas jefferson's. the regard is an authority on the subject. the book was released to coincide with an exhibit on slavery at month cello in the smithsonian museum of african-american history which was cocure rated by the thomas jefferson foundation. many attended opening night. after fifty years of historical research, the thomas jefferson foundation is now in the next phase of interpretation and restoration project fund bid the national endowment to the humanitarian and private support. it's called the landscape and slavery. which includes the creation of
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many exhibits and key sites and a website and computer animations. of the people held in slavery at month cello. images of only seven men and women survived. all of the name press served. nevertheless, for many years the human dimension was messing from the accounts. in 1993, historians started to an oral history project called "getting word" to fill in the missings human dimension. next february with participation from the university of virginia will be hosting a conference. these activities represent why
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monticello is regarded as west documented and the best studied plantation in north america. further more, by presenting the history of enslaved people as individuals with particular stories and lives, monicello hopes to humanize an institution that has been presented -- without details of individuals and families. for those interested in more information, we encourage you to look at our website www.monticello.org which includes video of current dissent ends talking about their own lives and their relationship. it is thanks to the remarkable resources that thomas jefferson foundation descroats -- devotes to research when i first met
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henry weincek here in the jefferson library which is celebrating the tented anniversary as the only library dedicated to one of the founding fathers. henry is an independent scholar, he's also a local author known to many of us here in the audience who writes some plantation society in the south, and who last book on george washington and slavery entitled "an imperfect god" which was published in 2003. at the end of his talk, he will be taking questions, and will be available to sign copies of his book in the gallery. employees join me in welcoming henry weincek. [applause] thank you.
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i appreciate your remarks, it's a home coming for me. i spent many months downstairs and down the hall when had a fellowship to begin my research on the book. and i'm extremely grateful to personally for all the aid he lent know support over the years and also to the former executive directer of month cello and the current executive directer for their support in the past and present. this is a great resource and as andrew says month cello is the leading -- the study of the subject is really very difficult for a number of republicans. it's hard to get out the documents. and the other is the psychology immedment that the americans have and as described by the though lodge began who happens
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to be the father of my editor, he says american americans by ultra additions are the most innocent people on earth. you never do anything wrong as the people and as a country. so it becomes very difficult for us to learn anything from the past because there was never any right and wrong. it was always we always come out innocent. in one encounters a phenomena such as slavery, which seems so evil, we have to find some way of dealing. we yiewrmly wrap it in the word paradox. we suspend all judgment and can't figure out the people of that time. i spent, as i mentioned i was spending many months upstairs poring over the documents published and unpublished here about the slaves of montiecllo and getting more confused. one of the best known slave
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memoirs we have was written by the black smith isaac granger. i studied him in great detail in a couple of cases he mentions that jefferson was a good master and that jefferson's son-in-law who ran things around here when jefferson was away, cornel raldolf was in charge he was an executive overseer. he was a good master. it in going through the record i found that he -- when he was strapped for cash, took isaac's daughter and sold him to overseer who took the young girl away to kentucky and she was never seen again. now, isaac didn't mention that in his memoir, why? i really don't know. maybe he told his white interviewer and the interviewer didn't want to write it down. maybe isaac didn't want to say
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anything that would hurt the feelings of a white man. maybe it didn't -- maybe it hasn't left my impression. we don't know. it's not there. it leads one to realize that there is a lot in these accounts that we really don't know, and that the psychology possible distortion that took place under slavery that we are still wrestling with. another person's memoir who i spent a lot of time with was peters to et. he left two memoirs he gave newspaper interviews in the late 1800s. he was born here and he was one of the slaves who was auctioned in the auction of mr. jefferson's slaves after jefferson's death. his father was joseph, the chief blacks smith here at montiecllo and his mother edith was mr. jefferson's cook. it was a high status family.
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and i had been spending all of our time reading his memoirs and trying to glean as much information as i could from them, and it was one hot afternoon, i decided to get out of the place and go to the mountain and wander around as i often did looking at the house and mingling with the tourists just trying to get a sense of the place all over again. place is very important to my writing, and as it turned out, the tour guide was just beginning a talk in library roe about peter. and she began telling the story about how he was sold at auction at age 11 and sold to someone who promised peter's father that he would release him in a few years if joseph raised enough money. joseph was one of the few slaves freed in jefferson's will pane joseph worked very hard to raise the money to buy his son back from the masters.
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then the master broke the deal, he broke the promise. and petered was recondemned to slavery by the white -- what a fred described he would sneak out and hide in a distant cabin and hide by the embers of a diagnose fire and -- die are fire and he taught himself to read and write. he -- it's a documents. anded at that point in the story suddenly a thunderstorms blew in to the montiecllo mountain top. the guide looked around and said if anybody is care storm. you can run to the old tunnel beneath the house. having heard the beginning of peter, they were gripped, nobody ran. she went on to say that he produced fake emancipation documents that allowed his sister and others to escape virginia. then he decided to write a fake paper for himself.
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he ran away but was caught. was brought back to charlotteville, he tried it again. he said i was determined to get free or die in the attempt. and so he ran away again, was caught, and this time his owner decided to dispense of him. to turn him over to the traders where he was brought in handcuffs and then as he counted for the second time in my life, i was put on the auction block and sold like a horse. but when his friends in charlotteville found out, they raised the noun buy him out of slavery. they sent him to ohio as a free man, he became a minister, a businessman, and a smuggler of futuretives in the undergrown. in his old age he had one wish, which was to come back to montiecllo which lived in his memory as a earthly par dieses. he walked up to the top of the mountain where we were standing. and so me, that story had always
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been one of triumph of the human spirit over difficulties. and bsh but i heard a different element that day, that afternoon when the tour guide mentioned that from the time he was sold at age 11, he remained a slave for another 24 years. when the visitors heard that, they gasped. they couldn't get over it. they just learned about the character and the achievement of the man. they couldn't believe a person would be held in slavery. iter to at the sense of justice. and i had to wonder, and there was something i had never thought of before. i read that story but i never heard it. it was only when outsiders who were soaked as i was heard it that basic human element came out. and i began to wonder, you know, why didn't jefferson see these people as ?iewm and that -- human and that one of the major contradictions is propelled my
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research. .. she has a new lee mentioned member made a proposal to emancipate slaves using derivatives to actually submit the bill which is a good thing because he was denounced as an
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enemy of his country and the bill was dismissed. but then later under his own name as the revolution approached jefferson floated a more explicit plan one that actually might have changed the course of history. if only the country would stop the slave trade, jefferson wrote, it could proceed to the enfranchisement of the slaves that we have meaning that they would become citizens. and he wrote this in the document called the summary of the rights of british america which he also submitted for the house of burgess or to the committee thereof, and it was again summarily rejected but that led to his being chosen to write the declaration of independence where he denounced the slave trade in the no uncertain terms. another calls the was struck because south carolina and georgia wouldn't abide any strictures on the slave trade. but after the war a strange thing began to happen.
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oddly enough, france was the key to understanding the transformation with jefferson. when we think of france we think of sally and james hemingses and jefferson against no french architecture, but he went over there on very important national business, he was the trade representative. desperate for money, we owed a lot of money, the u.s. allowed enormous debt to britain and all most important export was a crop tobacco which had $30 million a year. jefferson had one problem. the most important and influential fraiman cord which the french aristocrats were all abolitionists and they couldn't understand how we fought the war for universal liberty without freeing the slaves and they kept asking when is america going to free the slaves? so he began making promises that
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the emancipation was just around the corner, he was eminent waiting for opinions to write them. none of this was true but it was in our interest for them to say that but oddly enough jefferson did and absorb some of this radical feeling in france, and before he left, he stepped down the plan and told people about it, he told thomas paine and a number of other abolitionists out there that when he got back to america he was going to train the slaves and settle them on land as sharecroppers in the certainty that they would become good citizens and about the would free people in the united states. but when he got back to the united states, things changed. it turned out she met her cousin thomas randolph whom i might mention before coming and they decided to get married in a
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hurry and the only way that jefferson could step them up -- set up in the household was to give them land and of course a lot of slaves. he rode down he would give his daughter 25 negro's little and big. the other thing is that he began to rethink monticello. he needed money for this and also needed to rely on the retrained slave force and people that he had formerly announced as being child right incompetent, suddenly he called upon them to require a vast array of new skills, which they did a very, very quickly. so, and when i was falling jefferson for the documents on my own time line i came across a document that had disturbed many people from put it in print but not as much as it disturbs me when i found. in the detailed financial memo to an agricultural expert, jefferson is counting the
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profits and losses of the virginia plantations when suddenly it occurred to him that there was a phenomenon which he had received at monticello but had never actually measured. he proceeded to calculate it in a scrawled note in the middle of the page and close in brackets. what jefferson realized for the first time is that he was making a 4% profit every year on the dearth of black children. the people were yielding him a bonanza come a perpetual human dividend of compound interest. jefferson wrote i know nothing for the losses by death but on the contrary shall take 4% a year for the increase over and above keeping up their own numbers. the plantation was producing inexhaustible human assets. the percentage was predictable. to me, this was a stunning and even frightening discovery. knowing as far as i could tell among the jefferson scholars had never mentioned that. i might be and out lawyer document mathematical demonstration jefferson often
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like to do. but now he saw the 4 percent formula further and advanced the notion that slavery presented the investment strategy for the future. he wrote to an acquaintance that suffered financial and he wrote that acquaintance that have lost and should have been invested with negros. he advises that if the family had any cash left any should be laid out in land and negros which brings the profit up from five to 10% in this country by the increase. we might not cross the world where a man can on his siblings as slave but markets, silent profit come visa we can recognize. from that moment in jefferson's life, everything changed and the slaves were doomed. a statistic emerged in the 1970's when economists today hard-headed look at slavery. they found that on the eve of
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the civil war when slaves formed the second most valuable asset in the united states the banks and factories combined and the only thing that was more valuable was the land of the united states. in the 17 nineties, we see the full emergence of jefferson, the politician, the architect, the engineers said the entrepreneur of slavery. he industrialize to the slavery in the factory, come textile factory in the observation. as i mentioned before, his slaves adapted to the learning complex and skills. he had put all of this into operation by the mid 79 these when one of his old friends from france, the duke came by and was astonished at how well the monticello worked and the slaves were well fed and treated and jefferson was supervising the harvest will buy himself and he
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seemed to be taking direct control of everything. and the duke could not restrain his admiration for what jefferson did, had done, and it was an amazing thing to accomplish so fast because when jefferson was in france he said they were like children and could never learn anything complex. well, now, jefferson and the slaves together had overturned that. they were clearly very competent so the question arises is this the time to begin setting people free? will apparently not because jefferson now raises the objection that we cannot free the slaves because we are afraid of the mixing of blood, black blood with mixed with white and at that point everything seemed to be totally unreal because he could look around and see it had already taking place and the people on monticello mountain who had whose skin was so light that you couldn't even tell that they were black people, but the
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skills of these people had acquired is truly extraordinary, and ranging from the parliament to cooper the wanderers, hairdressers, cabinetmakers and later on some french visitors were amazed at the carriage that they were riding in. a very eloquent, one of them said, and he asked where it came from and jefferson said well, my slaves made it and he couldn't get over the thing to the contract that this had been manufactured by the slaves. and ironically they had condemned themselves. the more skillful they can come of a more valuable they became and the more they tightened the change of their incitement, what the machine was functioning in the equilibrium, the owner would never dismantle it. jefferson pioneered something else. he pioneered the modernization of slaves, the financial position of slavery.
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another document that i came across which i haven't seen comment on before was the fact that he financed the reconstruction of monticello in the 1970's partly through what we might call this leaves equity loan. he tumbled together 150 slaves delete the slaves and offered his collateral to read dhaka the to reduce what he had been doing in france and said you know, would you take them as collateral and they said yes. so they opened a 2,000-dollar line of credit for jefferson at the philadelphia merchant house, and the was the money that he drew upon the troll the construction materials that moved into monticello. now, the surface of slavery that the duke had seen was a very genteel system but that was only the top slice of monticello. the operation had a much harsher
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sound to a further down the mountain. jefferson heated conflict and disliked having to punish people and denial hangs over the whole business but throughout his plantation records there was a threat of indications that the machine function on carefully calibrated of violence. and jefferson said my first wish is that the labor may well be treated but it is an ironclad promise turns out to be what jefferson says it is and he is a qualifier. the second wish is that they enable the means to have that treatment continued by making as much as meaning i will treat you well but if you do not produce enough, there will be harsh measures. jefferson's page evokes discussed. his methods of control under the county and the judgment of the citizens page was a terror. though the colonel randolph who
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was running the operation informed jefferson that they were discontent and the pages in the lush he retained this for another two years. jefferson's other son-in-law diluted to the public sentiment against him to hire slaves from other planters they would do business with him and the terror of the pages prevented the possibility of hiring them. now, in this regard, in the 1950's a tiny fragment of information about the monticello system shocked one of jefferson's the five editors that he suppressed it from the record. until recently the standard source for our understanding of life at monticello has been the addition of the farm book edited in the 1950's. when he edited one of the plantation reports, she confronted taboo. randolph reported to jefferson that the function was very well because, quote, they were being whipped.
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we didn't take willingly to be forced to show up in the midwinter hour before dawn today and they were ripping them for truancy. they decided that the image of children had to be suppressed. it didn't emerge until 2005 and played an important role in shaping the consensus that jefferson managed his plantations at hand. the management of the plantations also had a psychological element. we often hear that jefferson encouraged the slaves with rewards and incentives with the character was and that he had self-esteem which was dangerous for a slave but it meant that he was docile. it meant that you did what you're told. and there is a wrenching story
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that the colonel randolph sat down the but by the slaves just down from here who was a slave said to have possessed a great deal of character he was the one who was trusted by the master whenever anything important had to be done he was trusted to handle money and the one important errands and he was highly regarded that the secret behind his character was that he was terrified. he was terrified of being white and he formed an evolution never to do anything that would -- the would cause him to incur what he called the strikes. one day he apparently left some tools out in the field, and to make an example of the new overseer he had hamster about his shirt and rectum. he was so humiliated that he went and hanged himself right in front of the master's house. this was the occasion for the long detailed letter that the colonel randolph wrote describing this man and growing
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terms as a man of great courage in character and it is in his letter that he denounces what he calls the whole system as a hideous monster and describes something that is based totally on terror and not tall on this notion of character. and he had nothing bad to say about the slave but described him as showing a great courage in going off instead of trying to run away. to go back for a moment to the time line, there are two basic benchmark events in jefferson's public life that i looked at as displaying his shift from one type of politician and planter to another. jefferson, the younger radicals had written the terms and 1784 the would ban slavery and any other territory in the united states. this is what jefferson wrote.
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after the year 1800 there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude. now such would have put slavery on the timetable. those that held slaves would have had 16 years to figure a way out of it that the ordinance which would have included mississippi and alabama, and think of those two places be without slaves failed to pass the continental congress when just one delegate from new jersey missed the vote deutsch to illness. jefferson himself wrote that the fate of millions unborn had been determined by the absence of this one man. and apple be, the great historian, and thomas saying that after the 1784 limitation on slavery had failed, jefferson, quote, backed away from attacking the institutions as his power to do something about it increased to retial their benchmark that i would like to point out is the louisiana purchase. there's a great opening of the west and the entire for liberty,
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but when we acquired that territory there's a great debate in congress. shouldn't we have slavery here? congress came very close to gaining it and then passed restrictions that so outraged the slaveholders who were already there that they threatened the secession and to call the pulling back in. people said if you don't allow slavery they would depreciate in value and 50 percent and there is all of this going on was a fresh moment of decision, the congress still had the will to restrict slavery. jefferson sent a message to his manager and the senate saying slaves were to be admitted in the territory. then he went off to aid in the creation of the legal system and the bureaucracy that managed slavery in the territory to the point where the historian referred to him as the father of
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slavery in louisiana said it was only 20 years later from the man who tried to stop slavery from getting in the west to a man that helped extend its reach into new territories. i don't much like the counterfactual, but i am going to end with one any way because i think this one really could have happened. there is a history that was recorded in the 1940's by a woman. sao hemingses went to the descendants of monticello slaves and record a number of interviews one of them a person said something that was very striking. mr. jefferson nist used the large sums of money that had been given to him for the benefit of the negro. when i first read this it really didn't make any strength at all.
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i didn't know what he could possibly be talking about and i dealt with something the was made up by people that were just angry about slavery and wanted to get back at mr. jefferson but then i found out that it was true. visiting philadelphia one time, i was wandering with my family to a society and we can to the house with a plaque that said that this was the town house where the great polish patriot and hero of the american revolution had lived and was open as a museum. so we went in there and there was the title with jefferson and i didn't know they had the relationship at all but i found to my surprise that he had written the well and which he left jefferson $20,000 to three his many monticello slaves as money would buy, and to give them land and to give them
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livestock and to pay for their transportation and education, transportation especially in some place where they could live understood as free people. and it's interesting in this piece of information when it came out in a the magazine and book the number of people said to me they never heard of it. i said i never heard of the toronto stumble across said in philadelphia. a couple of people -- a couple of people had thought about this that hadn't occurred to me that when you hope your book is being made into a movie they said who do you want to start? people began to say i wonder whom he could have freed. people thought of john and priscilla hemingses. they said well maybe he could have read some of his farmers and then someone said he could have freed joe foss said. he was a blacksmith, and edie as
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the coke and they had a bunch of children and it turned out in jefferson's state after the war joseph was the only one fried and jefferson left the rest of the family in slavery and then they scattered to different masters. he worked for ten years at the forge trying to earn the money to buy back his own life and they escaped from slavery but managed to get most of them back except peter commesso joseph and edith had to leave charlottesville leaving peter behind and when they settled in a highly was only years later by his own friends and charlotte's
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fell he was able to join them, and i went like to conclude with this language. the interesting thing about this is that he drafted the will because and 7095, he had finally gotten the payment that was coming to him for his service in american revolution. he was the general of engineers under george washington, and as many of you know, he designs the fortification at west point. his payment was long delayed and he got up in 1795, so he went in philadelphia he went to see his good friend jefferson would you write a well with me and be the executive, and after they drafted -- they drafted a formal document they'd written
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something in his own hand, and i would like to read this to you in conclusion. in case i should die without will come he should buy out of my money so that many negro's freedom that the remaining sums said be sufficient to give them education and provide for their needs. that is to say each should know before had the duty of a citizen when the free government when he must defend his country against foreign and internal enemies to have growth in human heart, sensible for the suffering of others. each one must be married and have 100 acres of land with instruments, cattle and know how to manage and government as well as how to be hit with neighbors or with kindness willing to help them and to their children to give good education as to the hard and the duty of their
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country. he had only one request to the people that he expected to free. in gratitude to make themselves as happy as possible. it never happened. and i will stop there and i will be happy to take any questions if anyone has any. [applause] >> it is of course a terrible truism that slavery is about making profits in the case and something much more nefarious and engage in the slave trading.
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when i saw that it was counter interest of because jefferson generally regarded as a good businessman he died in debt if the stock. monticello documented. dun and the economics here in the audience the person that adds up and it's amazing we have the best financial data of almost any individual in the 18th-century but no one has been the basic work of adding and detracting and seeing exactly how to find the work to make this case that he is benefiting
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and doesn't need to do more of an economic study we do not need to have the charts to do that work. >> would be certainly better to have had more data than i think the strongest evidence we have is from jefferson himself not only did he urged his neighbors to engage because of the appreciation and the value, but he said twice later in life that the women that bring the child every two years or more important to me than laboring hens because what they bring is in addition to my capital and he said that twice later in his life, and i think it is actually perfectly clear that when he can along and he was handed $20,000 to free as many as the money
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would buy and he could have freed the two families country families come his choice, he could have set the price whenever he wanted to. he walked away from that money for two reasons. one is one would have gone to the slaves themselves because jefferson would have had to expend it on purchasing land and livestock and equipment but the betting is these people were important to the machine. but also was the reproductive and value. as was set twice later in his life the women bring the assets, so he was not going to relinquish the assets like that partly because he wanted them for himself. i think that he was quite deliberately piling up the assets against the debt that would descend on his family when he died and oddly enough, when he had the money right in front
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of him and he refused, he was almost at the same time giving them away to his grandson thomas jefferson randolph so that he could be set up properly in the same household so they were to transfer wealth between the generations. and i think that has been the problem with that that has been greatly exaggerated, and i think that billy and i, i will speak for him but i remember a conversation that we had in which we agreed jefferson was the financial genius. i read the financial records in the letters. he was constantly refinancing his debt and he was always able to find new sources of credit. they found that he was a pioneer in the payload, but i noticed he was always refinancing and i said to him i don't see that restraining him in any way come in and he said no, he's a genius
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at and keep in mind and he built it before he went to france he came home and debilitate and when he got tired of that yield another mansion outside of west byrd. then he spent $30,000 on the mill and a canal at the bottom of the monticello believe chris monticello. so they never restrained from from anything that they want to do and one of the stories the studied was. it jefferson haven't decided to make that reckless investment in the $30,000 he wouldn't have been able to ride out the financial storm of the early 19th century. and another analysis of the financial record shows that
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jefferson -- the slaves were not deliver a productive farmers and that in one of the worst decades of the american agricultural economy and, he lost very little money on his operations when the commodity prices were plunging and jefferson just kept sending debate to setting the nail in the coffin when he posted for his inlaw and 1820 he was speculating in kentucky land acquisitions she needed someone to cosign a 20,000 aware of and he talked jefferson into it and six months later he went bankrupt. and that is when the letters from monticello began to get looming. >> barry willson.
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>> i want to follow-up on the well because that is something i've been interested and of course after reading the review yesterday where she calls the book a train wreck i thought maybe you would want to use this to elaborate more on that. however, where i am confused is what 18 months of his staff though war was contested by three different parties and one of those in the united states at that time i don't quite understand and then jefferson predicted at this point he said this is going to really fall into a lot of litigation. it's that i think it is going to go past my lifetime he was
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right. so he resigned as executor and sure enough, this litigation continued and finally wound up in the supreme court. it was involved in 1852 in favor of the polish descendants and this was after his death so what i am confused about is how did he ever have that money in front of him and she never had access to it. and it was only after that that was tied up in the court. so, how could he have used this money to free slaves and how did he have that option not to back off from this i don't want to free my slaves. i'm confused as to how he ever had access to those funds. >> the will end up in litigation because jefferson didn't act on it quickly enough. he had in his hand a letter saying that whenever you hear from europe, my intention from
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my american funds remains fixed meaning that his intentions to have the money used by mr. jefferson to free mr. jefferson's slaves would mean a fixed. if mr. thomas jefferson walks into the county courthouse carrying his well, carrying a letter and supply what is acted upon, you think the court is going to be laid? only because jefferson didn't press it. he didn't want to press it. anyone else? >> the money merchant in philadelphia from the investments going into the john bond account on which jefferson held signatory authority p.a.. so $5,000 at least went into that account and he said why don't you use this money for your own purpose that comes out his money so he was using it like joost williams money as
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collateral in this very -- ingenious method of financial m.a.d.d. 68 the mathematics that makes today's financial managers look like pikers and that is one of the ways he got access to the money. and it's not just kosciuszko in short, but there is a list of people that was able to live with the bank. >> did you see the letter written after jefferson's def when jeff randall tried to revive the well? he wrote to the lawyer in new york who was apparently controlling the funds and he said can we please revive this because i would like to get the funds in place. i just don't know. >> but the 1816 will then negated the previous and there was a decision of the supreme court. so it is an uphill legal battle. >> yes it is because jefferson didn't cut the legal system off by pressing the well when he had the chance. >> really, could he because it
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was contested almost immediately by kosciuszko armstrong saying a portion of that is fine. >> [inaudible] >> the european air is essentially one, yes, they added. >> i just got the book this morning so widely read the introduction, but i was really interested in the passage of view quote of earlier about how jefferson had this plan in 1789 that he wanted to turn his own monticello slaves into good citizens. and i've studied him a bunch and i've never seen that and the letter to edward than croft cabana croft he says he wants to bring the german immigrants to be indentured servants and then they will intermingle with the
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slaves and their children will be freed. they interpreted that as some kind of being racist and saying slaves can become citizens, but the germans can. are you suggesting that he was imagining them, the intermingling, the intermarriage and that he -- >> nope. go ahead. >> so, the letter refers to the germans children that he's talking about. estimate know, if what commentary. >> i know i've read in 1798 he makes almost the same proposal and also to leave the expos cyclicals for the interracial marriage and children. he embraces it. as committed as a totally different circumstance. some get is the same kind of proposal. i can show you the letters.
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they're talking about the children the germans to be a disconnect no pity and he's talking about the children of the slaves. >> that's what he told thomas paine because years later when jefferson was engineering the expansion of slavery into louisiana, thomas wrote to him and said now is the time to revive the plan that you talked about. send the slaves into the louisiana territory to sign contracts with planters who will take them for a year or two and train them and then give them their own plots of land, and he specifically referred to reviving the plan that we discussed in paris. but that's the plan. >> this plan talking about sending them to louisiana. >> nope, nope. >> this is 1789. >> the letter is from 1789 so it
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can't be about the louisiana purchase. >> what i meant is that when jefferson was in paris, and when he had discussed the plan with edward ban craft, not only discussed it with short but with thomas kane and when the outdoor of the decision came about whether we had slavery in louisiana, thomas kane reminded the president what proposed from france mainly that outlined in the bancroft letter to bring slaves in for a short amount of time to teach them, you know, the proper mode. >> i don't see jefferson in determining. >> it says right here i will settle them in the 50 acres each intermingled and place them on the flooding. >> he says their children shall
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be brought up in the property and make no doubt they will be good citizens. so it's the french and the germans. >> we can argue this later. the intercede in our mixed up. >> you draw the comparison with george washington. washington of course free is the slaves. >> ten years of trying. >> the stories are marvelous in which you wrote about in your last book. they took this issue on while they were president because it would be political suicide, and in fact jefferson recognized it wouldn't be a suicide but a potential civil war with of the
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missouri compromise in which talks about for the first time he recognizes the great war with hundreds of thousands might die within mrs. early in europe which he always believed fighting the republicans and the regime's that could well be in this new nation fighting between slavery and independence and jefferson does get his own reason for not freezing his slaves, and you are quite right, he never intended to as he'd never been in debt. but he did argue that to do so would be civil war and the only solution would be a colonization scheme in which all slaves moved to another region where there had been the caribbean, the west or back to africa. and of course you could argue
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that is just self justification, but it's also a reason were considering. these were some of the most brutal regimes and there were never bothered about the moral issue of slavery and they never discussed it before or during the american revolution. and that the date to be opposed to slavery wasn't so remarkable, the regime throughout history but it's only in the west and only in the 18th century that you have an abolition movement, people back to the questioning of the morality of slavery. so it's remarkable that he
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actually questioned the system and have enough empathy to realize that slaves fried would be so angry at the way they were treated that they might actually rebel. >> jefferson was wrong because when they were free there was no general rebellion of the master smith he was an exaggerated and the revolutionary war he was a bit of a shock to him because a number of slaves ran off and joined the british to get their freedom and even more slaves have shown to the american cause and overrode the fact that george washington integrated the american army in 1775.
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blacks fought for what the war and washington's army, and jefferson never once as the governor offered freedom to any of his slaves who would fight for the american cause for a relatively small number of slaves during the loyalty and of the loyalty of all of the others and then he wrote this fantasy and virginia that black people could never have because they had been held in the slavery and a great george granger but risk their lives to save jefferson's life and property jefferson knew this very well when he was writing his notes in the state of virginia and it just didn't play into his calculations.
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but anyway, i would bring up cassandra because that is going a little bit too far. >> yes? 1953 how could you find that peace? >> well, it is because like everybody else in the early 2000's i was still relying on the 1950's edition of the book which contains the facsimiles of the photographic actual merger with 500 other pages of documents and letters about the management of the plantation, and everybody cites randall frye saying this now he's doing very well, and nobody is being whipped and then at the end of this says dot dot dot. and then as the new editions of jefferson's the five papers had been coming out, i made it a habit to look at each volume and all of the letters having to do
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with slavery and also began moving backwards when i got to the volume that covered that era of 1801 it was systematically reading every letter and came to that letter and had a line that i'd never seen before. it was like this one had miraculously disappeared. that wasn't there. and i compared the two and asked what are the originals from the massachusetts historical society coming into the original letters that nobody is being lewicke to accept the small ones which entirely reversals the meaning of the letter. and so, this is what people were prepared to do to protect mr. jefferson's reputation. and so, i mentioned -- anyway, to me that was a real turning point that the children were being wet, jefferson was informed of it and took no action to stop it.
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>> [inaudible] >> jefferson's legacy [inaudible] the most valuable slaves of monticello so far [inaudible] my calculation that is about one-tenth compared to the other 126 slaves. what do you make of that? >> i will just repeat the question because that isn't picked up by microphones and didn't hold off the question why
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didn't jefferson a essentially free up some of his most valuable slaves with? >> two of them were his own children. as to why he freed up the other three, i don't know. i don't know if they -- if he had made a prior promised to them. they were certainly very valuable servants to and and they were all related to him. they were all hemingses because they were related to him his whole life, but i honestly can't answer that question. i don't know how he chose them. >> yes? >> terse i want to thank you for the scholarship that you've done to bring this new information i think forward. but i am interested in the psychology of jefferson. and he was presenting us with what i think has been my basic knowledge of jefferson up until now, and that is a very great
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philosopher, very religious in his own way, spiritual come in and seeing slavery but in a big picture of history and how it might influence. and your work seems to have brought out a different psychological jefferson that you were not very familiar with. and, you know, do you see this split in him that he compartmentalizes to the extent he can be this philosophical thinker and see slavery as all of the things they have shown as the danger, and that on the other hand, the other side of this business side which i think this is a surprise to me. i'm not a scholar historian, but that is this other part of jefferson that even he himself
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may be was in denial about and yet he was good at it. >> i don't see it as compartmentalized. that was put forward and it's based on the measure that things jefferson said about slavery. many of the statements that he made is some of his most ringing antislavery statements we think we're almost issued as press releases from the white house or put on billboards or put on newspapers they were private responses that he wrote in 1790 until his death in the various progressives and abolitionists people like william cole and kosciuszko and lafayette begging him to do something to end slavery and he would put them off and say that time is not yet right and hold the wolf by the years or maybe these people were
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too mix to bid. i need the white people's mind to ripen. all of these excuses for privately threatened and jefferson had a word or phrase that he wrote to people, the abolitionists that were pestering him he knew how to put people off and he was a master correspondent. so many of these were not even meant for public consumption, they were just private letters. >> i just realized that the time is running out. so jefferson is of course a convenient short end for talking about the problems that exist in slavery and early america that the right of liberty was accompanied by the system in which the populations were enslaved. the british naturally are more superior during the revolutionary war. samuel johnson famously said in
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1776 why is it that the first liberty are masters of slaves? because they themselves can of the regime almost as large down in the british caribbean. it is a subject of the perennial interest and i am grateful to you for talking about this. the main purpose of the discussion is indeed perhaps debate and i thought we had a good dialogue today. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you for coming. [applause] >> we would like to hear from you. harvard professor randallor kennedy in your best-selling book the n word the troublesome word you write about violence b. uo speech. what do you mean? speech >> welcome that book is aboutst:
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the word nigger and it is,is bou itself, a word that hasgger triggered lots of violence, and to sum it is a violent word inr and of itself and what i wanted to do in thatnd book is to giveo history of this word that has been coveredi with bloodd wanted to show the way in which this word has wrought havoc in american culture. of course that is not all it does. one of the reasons why it was both worthy is because of the complicated word. it has a terrible history, a history of insult, history of terrorism, a history of intimidation, but of course it has been put to other uses, too. it's been made in an ironic and a term of endearment so the word
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nigger as a complicated word and has biomass space, but other aspects as well. .. who raised kids most of them were sent for college, and absolutely great person i knew a her for a good portion of my li. life.hole she used a whole lot of
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different words she referred tos black people sometimes as peopl colored people but she also andd use the n-word, infamous n wordbeen a person whd whose wisdom has been with me all my life. >> host: is it illegal to use the n-word? >> guest: generally speaking, no, although -- well, i take that back. if you use the n-word in an employment setting, for instance, if you or somebody supervisor and you refer to your work to a worker as a nigger, where you refer to black people as niggers, you may be in violation of the law by creating a hostile workplace and thereby make yourself subject to a
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liability under state law or new the civil rights law of 1966 -- 1964. so, under certain circumstances, you can do things which would make yourself -- which subjects yourself to legal liability, or another way. if you commit violence and in the indication of a -- the commission of a violent act refer to people using the n-word, you might be subject to hate law legislation, and thereby not only be prosecuted for assault or whatever violent act you have committed, but you might subject yourself to an enhanced penalty by running afoul of state hate laws. so, under certain circumstances, yeah, you would be in violation of the law.
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generally speaking, though, because of the strong shielding power of the first amendment, people, for instance, comedians or writers, can use the n-word and not have to fear the law, though you might have to fear a public opinion which itself can be a very powerful force. >> host: is that the near word versus citing word? >> host: the law of homicide, all sorts of different levels of homicide, and one big divide is between manslaughter and second degree murder. so, for manslaughter, the law gives you a little -- if you kill someone, but you can make the argument that you killed somebody in you were in the grip
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of passion. the classic example of manslaughter, you come home and you find your girlfriend or your wife in the arms of another, and you kill that person. you've committed a violent act, but the law will give you a little bit of a break because you were in the grip of passion, and the law says, we give you something of an excuse. not a full excuse but we recognize that you couldn't control yourself. well, there's some people who have made the argument that they were in the grip of passion because somebody called them the infamous n-word. they strike the person, maybe they kill the person. and the argument becomes, can you or can your lawyer make the arguement to a jury that you were in the grip of passion because this person called you this particular word. now, in some jurisdictions, like
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washington, dc, you cannot even make that argument. washington, dc, the jurisdiction that has the "just words" doctrine, and the law says no matter what the word, no matter what somebody calls you, that's no excuse for using violence. but other jurisdictions say, we'll let you make that argument to a jury. >> host: professor kennedy, you write in the n-word book, there's nothing necessarily wrong with a white person saying the n-word, just as there is nothing necessarily wrong with a black person saying it. what should matter is the context in which the word is spoken. the speaker's aims, effects, alternative, to condemn whites to use the n-word without regard to context is simply to make a fettish of t is mark mark twaint novel, huckleberry finn. anythinger appears in that book over 200 times. i think huckleberry finn is a
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wonderful novel and its impulse is antiracist. antislavery, obviously over the years there have been many people who wanted the book banned or wanted to erase the word. i'm not for that. you have a white author, but .. is using the term "nigger" for purposes that are clearly antiracist purposes. there are others. lenny bruce. lenny bruce was a great social